#FerryNews - As Afloat reported yesterday, ropax Stena Horizon starts Dublin-Holyhead sailings tonight to enable a fleemate to be drydocked, however additional freight-only capacity is already in place, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The larger of the two routine ferries on the Wales route, Stena Adventurer leaves for annual maintenance overhaul in A&P Falmouth where Stena Horizon recently underwent similar work. The ropax will cover the roster of this ferry tonight, 6 March 20.40hrs to 20 March 02.30hrs inclusively.
The Stena Horizon normally operates the Rosslare-Cherbourg service, see story. Passenger capacity is for 900 and vehicles totals are 160 for cars and 135 lorries respectively.
Already operating on the Dublin route since late last month is ro-ro freight ferry Arrow which will continue to serve during the absence of Stena Adventurer. No doubt this boost to freight capacity was welcomed given the impacts caused to road hauliers during the severe weather dubbed the 'Beast from the East' coupled with Storm Emma.
The 65 freight trailer unit capacity Arrow sails on crossings from Dublin at 06:00hrs daily (excl. Sun) having previously sailed overnight from Holyhead at 22:30hrs daily (excl. Sat). During the day, Arrow has layed over in Holyhead.
With the Arrow in service this brings to three ships operating, as the route's second ferry is Stena Superfast X. This ferry given its size is better matched to the 'Adventurer' hence the necessity to have two relief ships deployed to cover the dry-docking period.
Arrow is owned by Seatruck Ferries but is chartered to the Isle of Man Steam Packet which use the 122m vessel as a relief ferry at peak times to assist capacity with ropax Ben-My-Chree on the Douglas-Heysham route.
In addition Arrow provides backup due to technical breakdowns or severe weather by making up shortfalls through added sailings.
Over the years Afloat has reported on Arrow's career that has seen the Steam Packet sub-charter the Irish Sea freightferry to Condor Ferries UK-Channel Islands operations.